Elephant of Sadness, Butterfly of Joy is a collection of twenty-four picture poems that explores the realm of human emotion. Each poem links an animal with an emotion and uses sensory imagery to spark childlike wonder, paint word pictures to ponder, and see the world from a new perspective.
Elephant of Sadness, Butterfly of Joy evokes metaphoric thinking in young readers. From the "Mosquito of Worry" and "Snail of Anticipation" to the "Hummingbird of Happiness" and "Lanternfish of Love," the poems vary in tone--some light, some dark, some humorous, and some serious. The animals represent a diversity of species, including mammals, reptiles, cephalopods, mollusks, fish, insects, arachnids, and birds.
Whether hopeful, frustrated, surprised, or content, these picture poems help illustrate the emotional spectrum that encompasses the human experience and bridge a gap in understanding so that children are better equipped to label their feelings.
For teachers, parents, and caregivers, the poems open space for discussions about social-emotional learning, which, now more than ever, are needed conversations.